Live Free Without Violence Flag Campaign

Live Free Without Violence Flag October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and this year, the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women (MCBW) has launched a new statewide campaign on October 1st to raise awareness about domestic violence in Minnesota.

The Live Free Without Violence flag campaign originally began in Germany and since 2001, the flag has been distributed around the world to promote awareness of violence against women. The MCBW has adopted the flag and has decided to focus the campaign on Minnesotans killed in domestic violence situations. The flag was first flown around the state during the first week of October to kick-off the campaign, and is meant to be flown for one week whenever there is a domestic violence-related homicide in Minnesota.

Anyone and everyone is welcome to participate in the Live Violence Free Flag Campaign. Safe Haven flies its flag at the Resource Center downtown, and we would love to see more flags around the city and on social media to honor the victims and raise awareness about domestic violence in Minnesota.

Flags and lawn signs are available for purchase. Once you make your purchase, you will be added to an email list that will notify you whenever a femicide occurs in Minnesota. It will also tell you when to display your flag and when to take it down.

If you are interested in participating in the campaign with us, contact Becky Smith at or visit

To receive updates on the campaign, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

35th Anniversary: Share your memories

Safe Haven Shelter and Resource Center will be celebrating its 35th anniversary on March 1, 2013. Help us commemorate this milestone by lending your voice to the Safe Haven story. We’re collecting stories and photos from survivors, volunteers and staff to share with our e-community. Please take a few moments to share your memories or photos – you may remain anonymous if you prefer.

Safe Haven Announces New Board Members

“Safe Haven is honored to welcome Judyth Babst, Debra Ann Cervenka and Melissa Kadlec as new board members. Each one brings a wealth of experience in serving their communities that will enhance our efforts to serve battered women. We look forward to working with them during their terms on the board,” says Susan Utech, Executive Director of Safe Haven.

Melissa Kadlec  is Marketing Manager at Citon Computer Corp. Kadlec’s successful career includes positions with Charter Communications as a marketing and public relations manager and Executive Director of Duluth Sister Cities International. She is a graduate of St. Cloud State University.  Kadlec has been an active member of the Duluth community serving on various boards including the Duluth-Växjö Soccer Exchange, Duluth Legacy Endowment Fund & Duluth Art Institute and Duluth Sister Cities International.

Debra Ann Cervenka  was an officer and on the Board of Directors of Phillips Plastics Corporation, serving as Executive Vice President, responsible for Marketing, Sales and People Services until the Cervenkas sold the company in December 2010.  She has dedicated the past eight years to non-profit work and currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy – Wisconsin Chapter, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Northland College, Chair of the Philanthropy Committee – Ecumen, and serves on the Board of Visitors of the School of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Wisconsin.

Judyth Babst  is a co-founder and board member of the Duluth Girls Hockey Association and volunteer at Hartley Nature Center.  Babst graduated from the University Of Minnesota with a BS in Occupational Therapy. She has worked with St Luke’s Home Health Care, Duluth Public Schools and Northern Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. An outdoors enthusiast and avid gardener, she is currently a member of three garden clubs (Longview, Unitarian Universalist, and Wild Ones). 

The three new members join a fourteen-member board that oversees Safe Haven’s finances, strategic planning, policies and practices.